Jesus is the like the sample kiosks at Costco…. said no one ever.
There is, however, some deep truth hidden in that ridiculous statement.
Check out what John says towards the end of his Gospel.
John 20:30-31 – 30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe[b] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Jesus performed MANY OTHER SIGNS that are NOT in this book.
But I thought the Bible contained everything about Jesus that we needed to know.
Does this mean that there is truth from the life of Jesus that extends beyond what the Bible teaches us about him?
This is an incredible statement from John. Not only does it speak to the idea that the work and life of Jesus is limited to what the Bible tells us, but it also speaks to the idea that John picked and chose what he wanted us to know.
John specifically chose which stories of the life of Jesus that he wanted to be passed on.
I wonder what else there could be? Don’t you? It’s like there’s this whole other life that we’re missing out on.
“Many other signs”, I love this phrase.
However many signs we see in the Gospels (in the Gospel of John it’s like 8 if you include the resurrection) this is not all there is.
There’s more…. there’s a lot more.
The miracles that Jesus performs that are recorded in the book of John are just scratching the surface.
The miracles that Jesus performs that are recorded in the book of John are just a sample of everything that he was up to.
For many Christians the moment that you begin to speak of things going beyond the Bible their default response is fear and trepidation and accusation. The problem is that John himself speaks of things being outside the Bible.
The way he speaks of the work and signs and miracles of Jesus lets us know that everything that we’ve fallen in love with and cling to and admire about the Gospel of John and the life of Jesus is not all there is. This book does not contain the entirety of the work and life of Jesus.
Jesus is bigger than the Bible.
Jesus goes beyond the Bible.
It’s kind of like the sample kiosks at Costco. Who doesn’t love free samples? We all do. Samples are great. They give the ability to just get a little taste of something.
Do you have any idea how massive these stores are?
The average size Costco is 144,500 square feet.
To give you perspective the average house in America is 2,300 square feet.
This is roughly the equivalent of 62 average size houses or the one square block in New York City.
Now let’s say you go to Costco cause you are in desperate need of new socks. You’re having a real sock emergency. When you get into the store you’re struck with the sheer size of the place. Before you begin your 3-day hike to the sock section you see there is a sample kiosk so you stop at the kiosk and they have this amazing cheese sample.
I’m talking about this is the greatest chunk of cheese that you’ve ever tasted in the entirety of your life. Each bite is a tiny slice of heaven on your tongue.
So you have a sample, then another sample, then another sample, and you have made up your mind that this is all you want and you decide just to stay at the sample kiosk.
The sample kiosk occupies a tiny spot in the massive store.
The sample kiosk offers the tiniest taste of a larger product.
The sample kiosk isn’t meant to be the end of your experience, it’s meant to open you up to all the wonder and goodness that is beyond the kiosk.
There’s more to this store than the kiosk.
So what’s the point….
What we know of Jesus is a sample.
Jesus came for us to taste and see that the Lord is good.
Jesus came to open us up to the depths and the beauty of what it means to be human and to help us get a flavor of how the universe has been designed and how it functions.
The Beauty of the life and work of Jesus that we know of through the Gospels is just part of the beauty of who he truly was.
Imagine what it’d be like if we actually began to explore the rest of the store.
Imagine what kind of love and beauty we may find if we began to venture beyond the cheese kiosk into the vastness and entirety of the Costco.